Lessons in Vedic Electional Astrology – Part 1
V K Shridhar, India
Editor: Maurício Avila, Brazil
It is fundamental for a branch of Astrological knowledge to be useful, that it possess three essential ingredients (viz. prescriptive, preventive & predictive). Muhurta (Electional branch) is the most useful branch of the Vedic astrology well meeting all these essentials requirements, which has withstood test of time for, at least, the last two millenniums. How to mitigate the ill effects of planets (karamkand – propitiations)? When should we initiate the different life activities to assure the success of them (muhurtgian – election branch)? Answer these questions were the two primary purposes of Vedic astrology. Our Trikaaldarshi (the highest intuitive power) Sages have blessed us with numerous treatises on Muhurta, with discriminative knowledge and logic for its application for all the time to come.
The purpose of this series of articles analyzing this subject is to apprise the readers about the usefulness of this knowledge in attaining great success in all life activities, by revealing how effectively this can used for practical purposes. In the series of lessons on Vedic Electional Astrology, subtleties and secrecies along with fundamentals of this branch shall be discussed with hope of renaissance of this branch of Vedic astrology, which was undoubtedly born in India. There are divergent opinions on the birth place of Astrology, but all agree that the first book on Horary Astrology was written in India. There are no Hindu mythological and canonical texts in which some reference on Muhurta is absent, what amply proves that Muhurta branch was also prevailing in that era.
This author, by no means claims to be a specialist in Hindu Electional astrology, but an ardent student of the branch, willing to share his understanding with the readers with the main purpose to enable them to decipher the treatises and to specialise this subject. For the benefit of the humanity through the advice on discriminatively starting life activities – the fundamental purpose of Vedic astrology.
In Vedic System, Electional Astrology is distinct from Horary Astrology – unlike in Western Astrology – and have different set of rules, even in the basic astrological principles followed in both of its branches. Each branch of Astrology had its own specialised exponents. Excepting Acharya VarahaMihira, no other exponent has written treatises on more than one branch of Astrology, although some stray references on Muhurta are generally found in treatises of other branches. He opines that one should not live in a place where there is no astrologer to guide day to day activities – Muhurta). The solemnization of Samskaras for purification, travel, war, Vastu and other life activities were not thought possible without the proper guidance of Muhurta Astrology. It’s a matter of fact that nowadays, people seek for super specialists in the numerous fields of knowledge, but not in Astrology.
Muhurta has emanated from Vedas, Shaastra, Puranaas, Shrutis, Samritis, scriptures and other religious and holy mythological books as well. With regards to Muhurta, religious dictums have precedence over dictums or aphorisms on him. Social conventions and customs have acquired an overriding importance over religious customs and dictums. In this way, social customs followed over time by family, society and the country, must invariably be considered while deciding an election.
Omens and portents at the time of initiation of the elected activity foretell the ultimate result, so much that exponents on this subject advise that these have the final say – no activity can ever fructify if there is an adverse omen at the time of initiation. Those experts in dreams believe that it has precedence over the omens. SwarShaastri opines that the final outcome of a current activity fundamentally depends upon current Swar, should all other elements are equal among the two aspirants. Indeed, Swar is one of the most exalted knowledge, and it is the highest kept secret in Indian mythology. Nevertheless, Vedic Muhurta Astrology is the only known branch of knowledge which is able to guide an aspirant in choosing the most auspicious time to initiate life activities, the other branches are supportive.
No single branch of knowledge has the solution for all, and Muhurta is not an exception. For success in a venture, skills and knowledge for the specific activity are fundamental and, in order to attain a higher degree of success in a life activities it is essential to select the most appropriate moment of time (through Muhurta) considering the purification of his body (through bathing – medicinal bathing); purification of environment (by chanting mangalik songs/Vedic hymns); purification of celestial environments (by conducting Yagna/Havanas); purification of environments of the place of activity (through use of ornaments; observation of omens and portents; giving alms and food to the needy; seeking blessings from God, elders, Gurus and good wishes from associates; and support from nature – it is an holistic approach for attaining Siddhi).
Muhurta must meet the individual requirements. Universally auspicious time mentioned in Panchangas for various Muhurtas cannot be suitable in all cases. It is a widely accepted notion that all kinds of works can be initiated during Navratris, AkshyaTritiya, Vijay Dashmi and others significant auspicious days. Tara, transit, interrelationship of planets (compound friendship), planetary significance, Dasha of planets (Hindu progression periods), divisional charts of the individual aspirant play a significant role in deciding the Muhurta for the specific individual. Our Sages had long back laid down rules in Muhurta treatises regarding these subtle aspects which need to be purposively decoded keeping a holistic approach. Culling elections for individuals considering his radical features is a hallmark of Vedic Muhurta Astrology. This is a concept not traceable in recently invented Electional Astrology of the west (Horary Astrology).
Muhurta covers all activities from conception till the last rites after death. Its primary function during Vedic Era was to elect suitable time for each Samskara, being most used to elected the time for activities which are done only once (e.g. Muhurta is not required for daily shaving but for tonsure). However, for a higher degree of success and pleasure in the desired activity, the suitable Muhurta can be profitably elected for minor activities. When more than one activity is performed simultaneously, Muhurta is required for the major activity (e.g. For Upanyanana it is required and for tonsure is not when both are done simultaneously). Muhurta is decided on Manglik/benefic/auspicious activities, thus very rarely references are found in treatises for Muhurta of papa karmas (bad activities).
Shuddha Kaal (pure time) for Muhurta is fundamentally examined with reference to the Panchanga – the five elements (viz. Tithi, Weekday, Nakshatra, Yoga & Karan) – and each one of these elements has its own role and contribution in bestowing its effects. For each activity, specific suitable elements have been prescribed. How the different Tithi-Weekday-Nakshatra combinations produce different effects regarding the success of activities is another singular feature of Vedic Muhurta Astrology.
Numerous factors are considered for Kaal Shuddhi, which includes the absence of 21 Maha Doshas. Useful guidelines are available for fortification and purification of Ascendant and divisional charts, including some planetary Yogas, usually followed in natal horoscopes, are also analyzed in Muhurta. In addition to these, there are special planetary Yogas in election that are unique to this system. From the universally auspicious time durations, the most suitable time for the aspirant performs an activity is chosen. It is very rare to find a moment of time fully pious without traces of Doshas, in this way, the balance of the election with antidotes and sanctification of adverse elements has been described in the treatises for the benefits of the aspirants.
How each element should be selected and other important features of Vedic Muhurta Astrology shall be detailed discussed in the following lessons. Muhurta is the soul of time personified and is the knowledge capable of guiding aspirants to attaining higher and higher success in life activities.
Will be continued in Part-2